Barcelona winger Gerard Deulofeu has spoken of the delightful time he spent in Milan at the start of 2017 - claiming that his loan spell in Serie A hugely benefited what was becoming a stagnating career.
The Spaniard re-joined Barcelona in the summer following a brilliant second half of last season after a tricky time at Everton before Christmas. The wide man scored four goals and managed three assists in his time at San Siro, reminding Europe that he still has a lot to offer.
And now, as he prepares to face another Serie A side in the form of Juventus on Wednesday, Deulofeu has opened up on his time in Italy:
"Milan? It's been a really positive experience for me. I've been happy. They have welcomed me in an exceptional way, everyone from the coach to the staff, my teammates; I needed this warmth," Deulofeu told Extratime (via Gianluca Di Marzio).
"I've played a lot and been happy on the pitch. It's been amazing 45 months, it was a long time since I didn't enjoy playing and I started to feel good on and off the pitch again at Milan. This club gave me everything."
Now having returned to Camp Nou, the 23-year-old admits that he's already come a long way since leaving Merseyside - but maintains that he needs to take advantage of his new opportunities in Catalonia.
"I left England because I wasn't alright there. With the playing time I've had, I have been able to get back in the national team that I couldn't think about when I was at Everton, and after that Barcelona brought me back. I need to take advantage of it now".